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The topic of mandatory
health insurance within the United States has become a rather controversial
issue within the last few years. This all came to fruition with the Affordable
Care Act that was introduced during the Obama Administration. With this act,
the primary issue with many people is the mandate that requires all individuals
to have health insurance or face a fine. This is all done to achieve universal
health care, which strives to provide all U.S. citizens with some level of
health insurance coverage that is affordable for everyone. This concept has
great potential to provide all people within the country a higher quality of
life. (Hepner, 2012)

            One of the most obvious outcomes of mandatory health
insurance is that more lives can be saved. A Harvard study found that thousands
of preventable deaths are directly caused due to lack of insurance. Citizens
who are uninsured have a 40% higher chance of death than those who have
coverage. Compared to other developed countries with more socialized health
care, the United States has a higher amount of preventable deaths annually. Another
argument for why mandatory health insurance should be encouraged is that it
should be a human right. This was stated in the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, a document created by the United Nations and signed by 48 countries. A
similar resolution that was created by the World Health Organization stated
that not only should quality health care be provided for everyone, it should
also be affordable to acquire the services. (“Right to Health Care”, 2017) These
are some of the founding principles of the Affordable Care Act.

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            One of the primary reasons for opposition to universal
health care is the fact that it is paid for through taxes. Many citizens who
pay taxes feel that it is unfair that a portion of their wages pays for the
care of those who do not work. This makes some feel that health insurance is a privilege
rather than a right. Another con that directly correlates to this is a potential
for increased taxes. European countries such as the United Kingdom who have
universal health care pay over double the amount of taxes as the U.S. on
average. Many American citizens are simply not willing to see their payroll
taxes increase to upwards of 40%. (“Right to Health Care”, 2017)

            Overall, the concept of universal health care is a very good
idea that has potential to benefit millions of people by providing them with
basic medical services. Although this directly opposes the capitalistic nature
of America, the Affordable Care Act will put the country among the other
developed nations that are viewed as the most progressive and desirable places
to live. Mandatory health insurance should be recognized as a basic human right
that will save lives. The United States should strive to increase the quality
of life of its people while serving as an ideal model of a highly developed

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